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Administrator appointed for South London Healthcare NHS Trust
AN ADMINISTRATOR has been appointed to sort out the South London Healthcare NHS Trust (SLHT), it has been confirmed today.
Matthew Kershaw will assume full control of the trust in his role as special administrator in an attempt to assess how it has racked up £150m debts in the past three years.
In this position he will be responsible for maintaining patient services as well as developing recommendations to secure a sustainable future for services provided by the trust.
Mr Kershaw, who is currently the national director for provider delivery at the Department of Health, said: “My priority is to work with staff, patients, the public and all those involved in healthcare services in the south east London area to maintain high quality, effective services during the running of the unsustainable provider regime.
“This means developing recommendations that ensure that people in south east London can access high quality, safe, and financially sustainable NHS services for the long-term.
“Together we will need to think differently, be bold and accept that change needs to happen.
“The status quo is not sustainable.
“There have been some recent improvements in clinical standards at the Trust but these are not being delivered within budget.
“The Trust is overspending by £1.3 million each week, meaning vital resources are being diverted away from other services and communities – this is not acceptable or fair.
“Patients and taxpayers deserve more than this.
“I am committed to the NHS and committed to ensuring patients and tax-payers both get a good deal in south east London.”
The administrator's timetable
From Monday (July 16) he will examine the longstanding problems at South London Healthcare NHS Trust.
He will then produce a draft report to be published in Parliament by October 29.
Then he will oversee a 30 working day period of consultation with patients, staff, the public and relevant commissioners on the draft report, ending on December 14.
His final report will be submitted to the Secretary of State for Health by January 8 next year following which a decision on a course of action has to be taken by February 4.
What the trust says
A SLHT spokesman said: “We acknowledge the Secretary of State for Health has made the decision today to enact the Unsustainable Provider Regime at South London Healthcare NHS Trust.
"We are all hopeful that today's announcement will be a step towards resolving long-standing financial issues which also involves the wider south east London health sector, and ensures that the future provision of quality healthcare services for local people is maintained.
“In spite of the massive improvements in the quality of care - among the lowest mortality and infection rates now in England - the financial challenges facing the Trust remain significant.
“We would like to reassure local patients and members of the public that our staff will continue to provide first rate services as normal.
"There will be no impact on care and all scheduled appointments will continue as usual.”